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Blick Mead: Exploring the 'first place' in the Stonehenge landscape

Archaeological excavations at Blick Mead, Amesbury, Wiltshire 2005–2016

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David Jacques, Tom Phillips and Tom Lyons

Edited By David Jacques

The Stonehenge landscape is one of the most famous prehistoric places in the world, but much about its origins remains a mystery and little attention has been paid to what preceded, and thus may have influenced, its later ritual character. Now, the discovery of a uniquely long-lived Mesolithic occupation site at Blick Mead, just 2km from Stonehenge, with a detailed radio carbon date sequence ranging from the 8th to the late 5th millennium BC, is set to transform this situation.  

This book charts the story of the Blick Mead excavations, from the project’s local community-based origins to a multi-university research project using the latest cutting-edge technology to address important new questions about the origins of the Stonehenge landscape. Led by the University of Buckingham, the project continues to retain the community of Amesbury at its heart. The investigations are ongoing but due to the immense interest in, and significance of the site, this publication seeks to present the details of and thoughts on the findings to date.

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Afterwords: Community: The Contribution of Volunteers from Amesbury to the Blick Mead Project (Gemma Allerton)

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AFTERWORDS

Community: The Contribution of Volunteers from Amesbury to the Blick Mead Project

– Gemma Allerton (Chair of Amesbury History Centre)

Amesbury residents are well used to the sight of archaeologists; there never goes more than a month when there is not a new opening in the ground full of people brandishing trowels. Amesbury parish is so rich with archaeology and with the high profile of Stonehenge residents will usually find they are watching a local dig on a TV programme. However, of all the archaeological digs locally, none has included the people of Amesbury like the Blick Mead one. In fact, the Blick Mead dig would not have even begun without the help of local people and their local knowledge; it was the knowledge of the local land custodian that first alerted archaeologists to the potential wealth of finds in the first place. Without Mike Clarke what lay under the ground there would have continued to be unknown.

In the early days the dig was a small affair, coming just one weekend a year and with very little funding; it relied upon volunteer activity and local goodwill in the form of time, funding and organisation of equipment. As the dig grew so did the workforce from Amesbury. These were people with no archaeological training and they were people from all backgrounds, all with different skills and different personalities. Each person found they belonged within the team and were able...

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